INDEPENDENT NEWS

Frustration at Farcical Democratic 'debate'

Published: Wed 20 Sep 2000 03:02 PM
"If we are not able to voice our concerns through legal channels why should we not turn to other methods to be heard and taken seriously? People become frustrated with government processes which are not genuinely democratic, frustration can lead to violence which we are sure no one wants in this country."
The farcical nature of the current 'debate' surrounding the Singaporean Trojan Horse deal has been exposed after Helen Clark's assurances to Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in New York last week that the Agreement will be signed, for sure, claim members of the Wellington based group Aotearoa Educators.
Members of the group are frustrated with government processes after strict time frames have been put on the discussion of the Agreement through the Select Committee process. Additional statements made by Michael Cullen recently to the Singapore/New Zealand Business Council that pre-empt the finalisation of the Agreement also indicate clearly that the present 'debate' in parliament is rather a discussion, the conclusion to which is already foregone.
"People talk about 'unbridled power' as if it only referred to the Labour Party of 1984, however the process by which this Agreement is being rushed through parliament highlights the way in which all New Zealanders are excluded from decision making processes", members of Aotearoa Educators argue.
"You would have to be extraordinarily naive to believe that the government wants genuine debate from the public on this matter."
For further comment contact: Aotearoa Educators, Matire Ropiha: ph: 04 473 8566 xtn 856/ 021 1177 978

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